Melancholy Lullaby

Melancholy Lullaby

A Poem by Draven

The raindrops pitter patter on the rooftops
The way your little feet once did
Across the floor of our home
When you first took steps and learned to walk.
I remember the songs you'd sing,
Playing in your room with your toys.
They echo in my heart,
My melancholy lullaby
While I cry myself to sleep.
It seems so long ago now
As the days pass ever on.
I wonder if you've forgotten me...

I see you when I look out into the forest
From this lonely apartment window.
I imagine you playing in the trees,
Picking flowers and laughing, calling my name
The way you always used to do.
I miss you, and my soul is crushed by longing
For the day I see your face again.

© 2022 Draven

Author's Note

For my daughter.

My Review

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• The raindrops pitter patter on the rooftops The way your little feet once did

My little feet pattered on the rooftops? That’s not what you meant, of course, but it is what you just told me.

Think of the reader. They arrive with no idea of the subject, where we we are in time and space, or who we are. And they are NOT going to read this, then, having context, reread it to have to make sense. The reader needs context as-the-words-are-read. But at the end we still know nothing about either party, The speaker could be parent, sibling, relative, or neighbor. The gender of both is unknown. The reason they’re not together is unknown. So what do we know? That someone we don’t know misses someone not introduced. Do we care? No, because you’ve given the reader no reason to. It’s you talking about you in terms meaningless to an outsider.

At the moment you’re thinking in terms of informing the reader—providing an informational experience. But poetry is all about emotion, not facts. And the emotion in question is the reader’s. They don’t want to learn that someone unknown misses someone unknown, they want you to make THEM miss that person. They want you to make THEM feel and care, not be informed on what’s important to you.

At the moment you’re using the writing methodology we’re given in school—as we all do when we turn to poetry or fiction—as they ready us for employment: Fact-based and author-centric. As you do here, a narrator who can be neither seen nor heard, and so is dispassionate, talks TO the reader using prosaic language, providing an informational experience.

But poetry is emotion-based and character centric. We place the reader into poem, emotionally. It’s a very different approach from the one we were taught. But it is the approach that works best for poetry, so it’s worth learning. And that’s my point. It’s not a matter of talent or how well you write, it’s that you’re missing critical information. But since your words act as a pointer to memories and experiences in your head, and the voice you hear is your own voice, filled with emotion, it works, and you’ll see no problem.

Try this: Download Mary Oliver’s, A poetry Handbook, and read a chapter or two. I’m betting that you’ll find yourself saying, “Oh…that makes sense. But how did I not see that for myself?” Here’s the address of the download site:

I know you were hoping for something better, but since we’ll not address the problem we don’t see as being one, I thought you might want to know.

Hang in there, and keep on writing.

Jay Greenstein

Posted 1 Year Ago


1 Year Ago

Hey, friend. Thank you for your review. I appreciate it. I respect what you said, and you think you .. read more

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1 Review
Added on August 17, 2022
Last Updated on August 17, 2022



Mount Sterling, KY

Hi, I'm Draven. I'm a father, philosopher, artist, writer, poet, and musician. I have a passion for the world and a deep love of all people in it. These are pieces of poetry or bits of writing t.. more..

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